Humps in the Road

Hey, Vigilantes, have I told you lately how much I adore you? I have? Well, let me tell you again.  I love you to smithereens.

Not a single day goes by that I don’t hear things like, “Hey, Alicia, what can I do to help you?” or “Is there something specific you need donations for?” or “How can I specifically pray for you?”

And I can barely even talk about the donations that just show up without fanfare.  Little PayPal notices in my inbox, crumpled bills shoved in my hand when we bump into each other at the grocery store, and white envelopes in my mailbox with notes like, “Use this to do something good.”

I’m beyond grateful to get to do this work with you.

I feel like when I go to Uganda, you all go with me.  And I love that.  This isn’t my story or my adventure, it’s ours and I don’t want you to miss a second of it.  You don’t either?  Good.

Many of you follow our blog and I’m glad because it’s the place I get to write all the long, beautiful stories Vigilante Kindness is part of, but I want you to see the smaller moments, too, like this one of my favorite street sign in Uganda.  I can’t help it, it makes me giggle every time.

Humps ahead...
Humps ahead…

I’ll be posting all of the little moments and photos to go along with them on the Vigilante Kindness Facebook page.  I hope you’ll take a moment to pop over there and like our page so you can see every sweet, hilarious, lovely morsel of our story unfold.

The other reason I’m posting today is because the weeks leading up to returning to my Ugandan home are always trying-so many humps, er, bumps pop up unexpectedly in an effort to derail the trip.  It happens every year at the same time, always strange, strange things and the timing is too coincidental to be ignored.  So would you say a quick prayer or a long prayer or whatever kind of prayer suits your fancy that God would continue to guide and protect me these next couple of weeks?  I’d appreciate it so very much.

Lots of love to you, sweet Vigilantes,





Amazon Smile for Vigilante Kindness

Amazon Smile for Vigilante KindnessWe’re over the moon to announce that Amazon Smile has decided to partner with Vigilante Kindness.  That means all that shopping you love to do on Amazon can now benefit Vigilante Kindness.  How does it work?

Bookmark this link and use it each time you want to purchase something from Amazon.  Then Amazon automatically donates 0.5% of your purchase to Vigilante Kindness.  It’s as easy as that.

Unfortunately, you can’t yet use Amazon Smile through the Amazon app.  So if you shop on Amazon through your iPhone or iPad, please be sure to bookmark our Amazon Smile link on your internet browser and shop through Amazon Smile that way.

Would you do us one more favor?  Please share our Amazon Smile link with your family and friends.

As always, thanks so much for your kindness and support.

Garage Sale for Vigilante Kindness: May 1 & 2

Here at Vigilante Kindness we’re big on using our gifts in service of others and we’re big on people who like to do the same.  My lone gift is writing.  I don’t say that so that you’ll hammer out comments about other gifts you might think I have.  I say it in all honesty and with a truckload of gratitude.  Thank God He gave me a gift and opportunities to use it.

Laura, our Treasurer, has a gift with numbers.  She makes spreadsheets so beautiful, they make my head spin.

Colin, our Secretary, gets behind a camera and finds beauty everywhere.

Today I want you to meet LuEllyn, one of our Vigilantes of Kindness.  She’s the kind of woman who jumps in with both feet, so I like her a lot.  She sponsors one of our Work Study Scholars, but one of LuEllyn’s gifts is organizing people to take action.  She’s also a master at organizing stuff.

garage-sale3So it didn’t surprise me at all when LuEllyn offered to hold a garage sale with 100% of the proceeds going to Vigilante Kindness.  It also didn’t surprise me when I asked how I could help and she responded that she’s got it all taken care of.  Of course she does.  She’d already rallied her Canasta group and given them their marching orders.

There is one thing LuEllyn and her Canasta ladies need in order to make this garage sale a success.  They need your stuff to sell.  Maybe the spring cleaning bug has hit you and you’ve got a bag or two of things that need to find new homes.  Would you consider donating them to our garage sale?

The garage sale is in Redding, CA. on May 1st and 2nd, so items can be donated anytime between now and then.  Shoot me an email ( and I’ll set up at time to come pick up your donation.

Thanks to LuEllyn and her Canasta Club for supporting Vigilante Kindness!  Thanks to all of you who are going to tackle your cupboards, closets and garages to help us do good things for and with the people we love in Uganda.



Vigilante Kindness Recycling Drive

Hey, Vigilantes,

Sometimes doing something good requires giving of your time and money.

Sometimes all it takes is giving your trash.

This is the latter.

At Vigilante Kindness, we want to pursue self-sustaining educational and employment opportunities with and for people in developing countries throughout the world, but we also want to do that in a way that takes care of the world itself.

Enter the Vigilante Kindness Recycling Drive.

You may already know that we’re recycling magazines to help the women of Te Okot make paper bead jewelry to sell so they can earn a sustainable income.

paper beads made from recycled paperWe’ve added a few items to our list and 100% of the proceeds from the recycled items will go toward Vigilante Kindness general fund.

Please consider donating the following recyclable items to Vigilante Kindness:
  • aluminum cans
  • plastic bottles
  • empty printer cartridges
  • empty toner cartridges
  • old cell phones/smart phones
  • old (working) laptops
  • old iPods

Want to collect recyclables at your workplace, your school, your church or any other location for Vigilante Kindness?   Here’s a printable flyer for you to attach to the container of your choice.VK Recycling flyer

If you live in the Redding area, when your container is full, just shoot us an email ( and we’ll come collect your recyclables.  If you live outside of the area, but would like to join the recycling drive, shoot us an email and we’ll get you all set up.

Thanks for helping us care for the people we love throughout the world in ways that also help care for the world itself.



Chickens, Of Course

My phone had been pinging all day long.  As I walked to my car that afternoon, I checked my messages and laughed at the group conversation my boys had been having while I was at work.  Normally I loathe group texts, group conversations and the straight EVIL that is the Reply All button.

But the conversation between my boys tickled me.  I struggled to translate their conversation from Acoli into English, but when I did, I saw that there were 28–yes, 28–messages about land prospects for the chicken farm, feed providers, which farmer they’ll buy the initial chicks from, etc.

There were also teasing barbs, typical brotherly ribbing.  Can I just tell you how much my heart loves the teasing they do?  My formerly orphaned boys tease each other like brothers do and it’s music to my ears.

I read along as their messages progressed into the evening in Uganda and when they settled down for the night and messaged a chorus of I love yous to each other, it was all I could do to scoop my puddled heart up off the floor.

Because of you, Vigilantes, my boys were starting to see that their Chicken Farm Project wasn’t just a dream.

Me?  I wish I had their faith.  I’d spent the previous night looking at the Chicken Farm Project donation thermometer, incredibly grateful for the $51 that had been donated, but also trying to come up with ways to make that thermometer fill up to the tippy top.

Fundraising Thermometer Widget ~ Fundraising Thermometer Graphic-2

Little did I know, on that very night, as I sat trying to think of ways to make this project happen, and the following morning as my boys chattered away about all things chicken, a Vigilante woman was praying about my boys and their future chicken farm.

This woman has asked to remain anonymous, so let me tell you just a little about her.  She’s a cancer survivor.  She volunteers at her local hospital.  She takes in foster kids.  She loves with her heart wide open.

After I finished translating the 28 messages from my boys, I received this message from this Vigilante woman.

After thinking and praying about this last night and today, I have decided to send you a check for $950 to fund the chicken project.  I’m impressed with the guys and their determination in coming up with an idea, a business plan, and a way to help others.”

Insert record scratch here.

Wait, what???

I read her message again.  She’d decided to fund the remainder of the ENTIRE CHICKEN FARM PROJECT.

I called her immediately and before the first ring, I was crying, snot dripping, mascara running, ugly crying.  I left her a blubbering voicemail and then called my mom, who cried right along with me.

I still laugh at the whole idea of this chicken farm.  Really, God?  You want me, the girl who is terrified of birds, to help my boys start a chicken farm in Uganda?  Chickens?  Really?  Of course. God’s sense of humor is obviously fully in tact.

God’s sense of compassion is also fully in tact.  I know this to be true because three formerly orphaned boys have not only taken up residence in my heart, but in your hearts, too.

My boys still struggle with the residual pain of being orphaned. Of being left by parents who died too young. Of being unloved. Of being treated like dogs. Of being children left to fend for themselves on the streets. Of being unclaimed.

I sit here fighting back tears again because you, sweet Vigilantes, whether you donated a single penny or a lot of pennies, have claimed me, claimed my boys, and claimed a whole lot of chickens, too.

Thank you.  Thank you so much.

Want to see something wonderful before you go?

Fundraising Thermometer Widget ~ Fundraising Thermometer Graphic